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Panasonic Viera AR Setup Simulator app augments the reality of your TV dream (video)

A cardboard cut-out, really? You pasted a 50-inch rectangle of stiffened paper to the wall in order to preview the flatscreen of your dreams within your new Vitsoe shelving system? For shame. A true nerd, nay, a real man would have cast aside those arts and crafts for Panasonic’s new Viera AR Setup Simulator app. Just grab the wall or pedestal AR marker from the printer and place it wherever you hope to showcase that new Panny. Then watch the app augment your reality through the iPhone’s camera. Don’t cost nothin’ but your time, starting with the 60 second video embedded after the break.

(from engadget)

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Sennheiser’s sophisticated CXC 700 earbuds tout three levels of noise cancellation

Sennheiser has a thing for trotting out< titillatingnew wares at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and this year is proving to be no different in that regard. The audio specialist has just introduced one of the most fully-featured headsets we’ve seen in quite awhile, with the CXC 700 boasting not one, not two, but three levels of noise cancellation. The newfangled NoiseGard] /digital technology gives owners a trifecta of noise-cancelling profiles, with each one optimized for something different. In fact, we’ll let Senn do the explaining here:

“Mode 1 absorbs low-frequency noise in particular (100 to 400 Hertz), such as engine noise from trains, buses or small passenger planes. Mode 2 focuses on cancelling noise in the medium frequency range (400 to 3,000 Hertz), which is caused above all by air-conditioning systems in large passenger aircraft or office buildings. Mode 3 has a particularly wide frequency range (100 to 3,000 Hertz), and combines the noise-cancelling effect in the medium and low-frequency ranges. As a result, background noise with different noise components, such as that which occurs at airports, railway stations or underground stations, can be effectively suppressed, although with a slightly lower noise-cancelling performance than in the first two modes.”

In case that’s not enough to convince ya, these offer a frequency response of 20Hz to 21,000Hz, and they’ll function just fine (albeit sans noise cancellation) even if your AAA battery keels over. Controls are embedded in the cabling, and users are able to activate the TalkThrough function if they’d prefer to conduct a conversation with someone without actually removing their earphones. Furthermore, changing between the NoiseGard profiles and activation of the TalkThrough function are indicated by both an acoustic and a visual signal. The company will be shipping these with a 4.5-foot long cable, an in-flight adapter, 6.35mm jack plug adapter, a small carrying case and a diaphragm protector, with sales to start later this month for around $320.(from engadget)

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Mophie and Intuit partner to create Complete Card Solution for iPhone, try to make Square look square

Mophie and Intuit partner to create Complete Card Solution for iPhone, try to make Square look square
Who knew that credit card processing would be the new hotness for smartphones? The Square mobile payment system has been making waves by letting small businesses receive credit card payment directly on their smartphones. Now, mophie and Intuit are looking to get in on the same action with their Complete Card Solution for iPhone. It’s a $179 package that includes both mophie’s card-swiping phone case and the 3.0 version of Intuit’s GoPayment app. After a quick application users are said to be approved (or, erm, declined) within 15 minutes and can immediately start accepting payments. Full details, including just how much users will be forking over in fees, after the break.

Initial targeted clients were people like plumbers and electricians, but we can definitely see tech-minded farmers at the market relying on this sort of system, along with craftmeisters who shun Etsy and prefer to sell face-to-face. A single account can also cover up to 50 users, meaning an entire sales team could be equipped with these devices. Intuit’s site provides lots of data on transactions and the like, but for the full ability to reconcile to invoices and track payments you’ll need to use Intuit’s QuickBooks suite, either on the PC or Mac.

The big question is, of course, what it’ll cost you to use the thing. $179 up-front is hardly a small commitment, and a further $12.95 per month makes the minimum cost quite a bit higher than Square, which offers free hardware and no monthly fees. Likewise, per-transaction fees here are between $.30 and $.34, double the $.15 fee of the Square. However, Intuit and mophie will take a smaller chunk of the overall payment: 1.7 percent usually, though that could climb as high as 3.7 percent depending on the type of card being used. That compares favorably to Square’s 2.75 to 3.5 percent.

Whether this is a value proposition for your business depends largely on the size and frequency of transactions you plan to receive. But, there is one definite advantage Square has over this system: compatibility. This case, which encrypts every credit card number before it gets to the phone, will only work with the iPhone 3G/S. We’re told an iPhone 4-compatible version is in the works, but it’s anyone’s guess when that will show up. We do, however, know that this current version is available now in Apple retail stores and will be hitting Apple’s online site in the very near future. So, go on now. Get paid.

(from engadget)
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OpenWays makes your smartphone a hotel room key, provides a different kind of ‘unlock’

For years now, hotel chains have been toying with alternative ways to letting patrons check-in, access their room and run up their bill with all-too-convenient in-room services. Marriott began testing smartphone check-ins way back in 2006, and select boutique locations (like The Plaza Hotel in New York and Boston’s Nine Zero) have relied on RFID, iris scanners, biometric identifiers and all sorts of whiz-bang entry methods in order to make getting past a lock that much easier (or harder, depending on perspective). This month, InterContinental Hotels Group announced that they would soon be trialing OpenWays at Chicago’s Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown Convention Center, enabling iPhone owners to fire up an app and watch their room door open in a magical sort of way. Other smartphone platforms will also be supported, and as we’ve seen with other implementations, users of the technology will also be able to turn to their phone to order additional services, extend their stay or fess up to that window they broke. There’s no word on when this stuff will depart the testing phase and go mainstream, but we’re guessing it’ll be sooner rather than later.

(from engadget)
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PhotoTrackr Plus brings geotagging to Nikon DSLRs, leaves your hotshoe open

Oh sure, Nikon’s got its own solution for adding native geotagging to your existing DSLR, but the GP-1 dongle definitely has its drawbacks. Aside from sucking down around 4x more power than Gisteq’s new PhotoTrackr Plus, it also eliminates the ability to use a dedicated flash in the hotshoe while capturing GPS data. Moreover, it has to warm up every time you turn the camera on / off, and there’s just 18 tracking channels compared to the Gisteq’s 44. Regardless of the back and forth, we do appreciate the PhotoTrackr Plus’ ability to plug directly into the 10-pin terminal that few amateurs even think to recognize, though we do fear that the reliance on Bluetooth could cause issues if you stray too far from the transceiver. Still, this newfangled dongle is far superior to its past iterations, both of which simply logged data as you went and then added metadata after you synced the information with your images via PC; this dongle, however, embeds the data right away into every image. Better still, there’s even a price advantage to going third party — Nikon’s aging GP-1 is pushing $200 on many webstores, while the Gisteq apparatus can be procured right now for $179. Take your pic, as they say.

PhotoTrackr Plus Exclusively for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

New geotagging solution sure to save time and make shooting much more enjoyable for Nikon DSLR owners.

Brea, CA (PRWEB) May 28, 2010 — The world of photography has changed drastically since it began, and now that anyone who has a digital camera can attempt to go professional, there is more and more cause for serious photographers to look at tools like the PhotoTrackr Plus, found online at: http://www.gisteq.com/plus

PhotoTrackr Plus for Nikon
When you talk to professional photographers, or even serious amateurs, about camera companies you’re basically talking about either Nikon or Canon. These are the top two digital SLR camera manufacturers out there today. The GiSTEQ company has now created a unique geotagging solution specifically for one of the top brands of cameras, the Nikon. This geotagging device is designed to make tagging photos that are taken on a Nikon DSLR easier, and much more enjoyable, for any camera lover.

Digital SLR cameras are much more affordable now than they have ever been before, and some professionals in the photography business estimate that within the next ten years a vast majority of camera owners will have their own DSLR, if they don’t already. That is one reason why some believe that more GPS trackers and other gadgets are flooding the market now. But while some gadgets are simply silly, others, such as the PhotoTrackr Plus for Nikon, can actually help photographers to become better.

“It’s great that anyone who wants to experience the wonder of photography can do so, but even a consummate professional can forget where they took a specific picture, and no one wants to waste time marking where they took every photo. This device makes it quick and simple for anyone who has the right DSLR cameras to be able to geotag their photos,” said Eric Liu, the President of GiSTEQ Corp.

The PhotoTrackr Plus has a number of features attached to it that both professionals and amateurs will love, and one of the most important is that it can geocode pictures taken in RAW format. Many photographers opt to shoot in RAW so that they can easily fix any exposure mistakes that are made. The PhotoTrackr Plus allows you to geotag photos in both RAW and JPEG format. The GPS data is imported directly into your photo as you take it, so no extra steps are necessary, which speeds up the processing workflow, and there is no extra software needed to run the program, simply plug and play.

One truly unique aspect of the PhotoTrackr Plus is that it is capable of geotagging photos with the last known location, so that if you’re unable to access a satellite signal, the device will save the information until you are in sight of a satellite. Compatible cameras include the Nikon D200, D300, D300s, D700, D2X, D2Xs, D2Hs, D3, D3X, and Fujifilm S5Pro.

For more information, visit the GiSTEQ site at: http://www.gisteq.com/plus

(from engadget)
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iPhone OS 4 live on Engadget

Want to follow the event at 7pm Paris time or 10am Pacific time?

Apple will present the new iPhone OS 4 (not a new iPhone phone, just the OS). Maybe in summer they present the hardware for the OS 4.

We’ll find out in an hour.


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novadrive from novatel: cloud-based unlimited storage

Novatel, maker of some of  3G / WiFi devices has decided to expand to data storage via novadrive. Cloud-based storage accessible through their software for Windows or Apple, but they’re have a nice mobile site so your phone.

Among the features such as remote wiping of your data if someone steals your computer to the ability to mail files to your file server, easy online collaboration for a team, and you can even send folks links to files who don’t have access to your server and track when and if they download it.

NovaDrive also has “unlimited” storage — though, we’d bet they’ll drop the fair use hammer quick if you go too wild — for roughly $50 a year for the personal version and $150 for the team fileserver version. Not too shabby if online storage is your thing, and even if it isn’t, Novadrive has a 30-day demo that won’t cost you one red cent, so feel feel to give it a whirl.

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iPad from Apple

(from engadget)

Here it is folks, the Apple iPad. The screen is gorgeous, tilting is responsive, and the thing is insanely thin and light. Still, if you’ve used the iPhone before — and you can see the two devices side-by-side here — there’s not a lot of surprises here so far. Here are some initial thoughts on the device:

It’s not light. It feels pretty weighty in your hand.

The screen is stunning, and it’s 1024 x 768. Feels just like a huge iPhone in your hands.

The speed of the CPU is something to be marveled at. It is blazingly fast from what we can tell. Webpages loaded up super fast, and scrolling was without a hiccup. Moving into and out of apps was a breeze. Everything flew.

There’s no multitasking at all. It’s a real disappointment. All this power and very little you can do with it at once. No multitasking means no streaming Pandora when you’re working in Pages… you can figure it out. It’s a real setback for this device.

The ebook implementation is about as close as you can get to reading without a stack of bound paper in your hand. The visual stuff really helps flesh out the experience. It may be just for show, but it counts here.

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New Google phone: Nexus one

nexus_one_apg.pngToday Google has officially released the new android 2.1 phone manufactured by HTC called Nexus One.

Here you have the official link.

Engadget had an early copy to review. You can read the review here. It has videos and unboxing photos.

It has a 1Ghz processor, 5Mp camera, microSD (up to 32Gb) and a 3.7 inches screen. Thiner than the iPhone. A very powerful machine indeed.


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Google Goggles brings visual search to Android; Favorite Places brings QR codes to restaurant reviews

Looks like Google’s been busy on the camera tip lately — not only is it launching a new QR code-based Favorite Places mobile search product today, it’s also demoing Google Goggles, a visual search app that generates local results from analyzing mobile phone images. Favorite Places isn’t super-complicated, but it sounds like it’ll be pretty useful: Google’s sent QR code window decals to the 100,000 most researched local businesses on Google and Google Maps, and scanning the code with your phone will bring up reviews, coupons, and offer the ability to star the location for later. (It’s not implemented yet, but you’ll be able to leave your own reviews in the future.) Google hasn’t built this into the Google Mobile app yet, so you’ll need something to read QR codes with — Android devices can use the free Barcode Scanner, and Google and QuickMark are offering 40,000 free downloads of QuickMark for the iPhone today. We just tried it out using QuickMark and it works pretty well — although we’ll wait to see how many QR codes we see in the wild before we call this one totally useful.

Google Goggles is a little more interesting from a technology standpoint: it’s an Android app that takes photos, tries to recognize what in them, and then generates search results about them. Goggles can recognize landmarks, books, contact info, artwork, places, wine, and logos at the moment, and Google says it’s working on adding other types of objects, like plants. Pretty neat stuff — but how about linking these two services together at some point, guys? Check some videos after the break.

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Meysam Movahedi’s latest concept certainly isn’t the first revolutionary tweak to the tried-and-true power outlet, but it’s easily one of our favorites. Put simply, the Rambler Socket is an in-wall box that contains 1.5 meters of extra cabling along with a traditional AC outlet. Granted, you’ll need a pretty deep wall to make something like this work (in theory, of course), but the result is nothing short of brilliant. If your AC cord is long enough, you simply plug it into the socket per usual; if you need a little extra length, the built-in extension cord pulls out with a gentle tug. Once you’re done, you simply tug on the cable once more and watch as it recoils back within the wall. GE, or someone — can we get a contract to this guy, pronto?

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HAVA media streamer for iPhone available now

Just a quick note to all you HAVA Player enthusiasts: the iPhone app that the company announced at CES is finally ready for public consumption. Available from the App Store (of all places), the software lets HAVA owners control it all remotely — including cable, satellite, and your DVR. What’s more, you can stream your recorded programming right onto the handset for all those times when you can’t stand to be apart from Jim Kramer. Supports iPhone and iPod touch with (OS 2.2.1 or higher) and will run you $9.99. PR after the break.


(from engadget)

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